WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced four developers are the winners of CPSC’s first-ever Safety Apps Challenge, in a press conference today. Earlier this year, CPSC challenged developers to create apps to help consumers track recall announcements and safety incidents involving consumer products. Nine developers from around the United States stepped up to the challenge and submitted proposals, using CPSC’s SaferProducts.gov and recalls APIs, or application program interface, to come up with innovative ways to access CPSC recalls and incident data.
“These app developers inspire us with their creativity,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “I congratulate them on using innovation and technology to advance the cause of product safety. Consumers are the real winners in this apps challenge because they have new mobile tools to help them to stay informed about recalls and product safety incidents.”
The four winners of the Consumer Product Safety Apps Challenge and their apps selected by an industry panel are:
1. “Safety Checker” App by Tom Nguyen:
Tom Nguyen, a full-stack developer and designer from Nashville, Tenn., created the app “Safety Checker,” which won the award for “Best Mashup with Search Tools.” “Safety Checker” empowers consumers with product safety information on the go. The app is designed to be simple and to enable finding SaferProducts.gov incidents and product recall information with just a few taps. When not on the go, the app actively scans for matching relevant safety information to keep consumers alerted to recall announcements and safety information related to the products they own and use every day. Consumers may fill out as little as three fields about a product to begin the process, or they may use the app to scan a product’s bar code. With the app, consumers will be alerted to important messages from SaferProducts.gov that could potentially save lives. This free app is available at: http://voicethings.com for iOS and Android. The “Safety Checker” app is also available on Amazon at www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=com.inventivegadget.voicethings.
2. “Recall Pro” App by Zech Kottilil:
Zech Kottilil is a full-stack developer from Germantown, Md. and is also recognized for “Best Mashup with Search Tools.” The “Recall Pro” app uses a Google Chrome extension and allows a consumer who is shopping online to highlight a product for sale on the Web, right-click on the product, choose “RecallPro This,” and have recall information displayed for that product. This app is available on Google Chrome free of charge at: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/recallpro/jdgmnnipocpdpldljkfdbjhcgmpabaoh.
3. Slice App:
The team at Slice is made up of full-stack developers from Palo Alto, Calif. Inspired by the increasing popularity of e-receipts consumers receive from retailers, the “Slice” app was created for a target audience of online shoppers and was recognized as “Most Innovative.” The “Slice” app organizes users’ email inboxes with everything they have bought online and alerts them to delivery progress, price changes or a recall of that product. “Slice” is constantly checking products against CPSC’s recall list, which enables parents to use the products they’ve purchased knowing confidently that the app will alert them if there is an issue. This free app is available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slice-package-tracker-price/id475854271?mt=8 for iOS and at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slice for Android users.
4. “Total Recall 101” App by Xian Ke:
Xian Ke is a full-stack developer from San Francisco, Calif. and a co-founder at Pomello.com. Her entry “Total Recall 101” also won for “Most Innovative” app. This app checks the user’s email inbox and archives for references to purchased products, including product receipts and conversations with friends. All emails remain private to the user. The “Total Recall 101” app matches the referenced products against CPSC’s recalled products list, and is able to generate emails to alert users about recalls. These alert emails can be accessed on all devices, including desktops and mobile phones running iOS and Android. The prototype app is free and open source and is available at: https://github.com/xke/total-recall-101.
Each of the four developers wins $1,000 for creating an app that will help empower consumers with vital safety information.
The industry panel of judges for the contest included Jack Christin Jr., eBay Inc. Associate General Counsel, Government Relations/Global Asset Protection, David Tisch, TechStars Managing Director, and Jennifer Toney, Founder and CEO, We Make It Safer.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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